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June Marlene Harder Heller passed away on April 23, 2022, at her home in Rochester, MN. She was born in Mt. Lake, MN on February 16, 1955, to Harvey and Ella Harder. She attended Mt. Lake Public Schools, graduating from Mt. Lake High School in 1973. Throughout these years she was active at Bethel Mennonite Church in Mt Lake and was baptized there.

She went on to attend Hesston College, Hesston, KS, and then Bethel College in North Newton, KS, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Home Economics in 1978.

After her education, June worked for Production Credit Association in Windom for a number of years. She later had an opportunity to move to Pennsylvania, where she worked for an insurance company, and met her future husband, Paul Heller, who became the love of her life. Paul and June were married on May 19, 1990, at Bethel Mennonite Church.

Paul and June made their home in State College, PA, where Paul taught as a professor of Entomology at Penn State University. Later, June also was employed at Penn State University, working as an Administrative Assistant in the Physical Plant. The two of them traveled extensively during their marriage, the highlight of which was spending two weeks in New Zealand.

After Paul’s death, in 2010, she eventually decided to retire, moving to Mesa, AZ, for a year before returning to Minnesota. She decided to settle in Rochester, MN, where she built a new home and started a new life. She enjoyed taking ocean cruises with friends and took many trips including to Hawaii.

June had many interests including counted cross-stitch, with which she created exquisite works of art, taking her untold hours to complete. She was also a skilled seamstress, tackling the most difficult patterns. Her sewing machines were her pride and joy. One of them had computerized design capabilities that enabled her to create elaborate projects. At one point, she started a side business machine-embroidering customized shirts and other projects for businesses and special orders. June had a deep interest in alternative medicine and researched to find answers to her health issues. She also possessed a gift for designing homes which came in handy as she and Paul lived in several new homes throughout their marriage.

She loved books and was a voracious reader. Among her favorite pastimes were watching an assortment of movies and listening to music. Her tastes were wide and eclectic. One of her most prominent qualities was her marvelous and quirky sense of humor, often culminating in hearty laughter. She enjoyed visiting with people and had a keen appreciation of what made people tick. Her family was very important to her, and she was interested in what her nieces and nephews were doing in their lives, and their pursuits.

At the age of 67, June left us much too early, but she left us with many wonderful memories that continue to bubble up. She was preceded in death by her father, Harvey P. Harder, her grandparents, and her dear husband, Paul. She is survived by her mother, Ella Harder, her sister Faye Miller (Roger), her brother Lauren (Kathy), and nephews and nieces: Dierdre (Harder) Shetler, Zachary Harder, Fjaere Harder Nussbaum, Christopher Miller, and Katherine Miller. An open house Celebration of June’s life will be held on June 26 at Bethel Mennonite Church from 3-5 p.m for those who would like to come and share remembrances.

This life story begins November 13, 1949, when Susan Amy Palmer was born to Donald Hugh and Marion June (Merickel) Palmer in Wadena, Minnesota. A few years later, the Palmer family moved to Windom where Donald founded Palmer Transfer, and Susan attended elementary, junior high and senior high school.

February 14, 1967, Carl Michael Hanson entered the story when he asked Susan on their first date. This occasion and the start of their relationship was on February 18.

Susan graduated from Windom High School in the spring of 1967. That fall she entered St. Cloud State College, graduating in the summer of 1971 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English Education.

On September 18, 1971, Michael and Susan were joined in marriage at the United Methodist Church in Windom. Following the ceremony, they left the church in a horse and buggy provided by Susan’s father, Donald Palmer. They traveled to the Sogge Good Samaritan Center to visit Michael’s Grandma Aschah Fricke, who had been a good friend of Susan’s grandmother, Amy Palmer, when they were both residents at the Sogge Home.

Susan and Michael spent the following year in St. Paul, where he completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Ag Education, graduating with distinction from the University of Minnesota. Susan worked as a secretary in the recovery room at North Memorial Hospital. Upon Michael’s graduation in the spring of 1972, they moved back to the home farm in Lakeside Township, farming with Michael’s father, Carl Martin Hanson, raising crops and registered Berkshire hogs. Shortly after becoming established on the farm, Susan went to work as a ward secretary at the Windom Hospital.

While on the farm their first child, a daughter, Amy Michelle Hanson, was born approximately four months premature on August 31, 1974. She lived 16 days, passing away on September 16.

In the spring of 1975, Susan played the leading role of Eliza Doolittle in the Friends of Foreign Students musical production of My Fair Lady. Michael was also in the play, portraying Zoltan Karparthy. Susan enjoyed this experience, improving and strengthening her vocal and musical skills, giving her confidence to share these skills in praise and worship later in life.

The week after Thanksgiving in 1978, their adopted son, Christopher Michael Hanson joined the Hanson family. Approximately two years later, the Hanson’s second adopted son, Caleb Matthew Hanson, became part of the family.

The farm enterprise came to an end due to the farm crisis of the 1980s. In the fall of 1988, the family moved to Cambridge, MN. Susan worked as a secretary in the Emergency Room at the Cambridge Hospital. Michael worked at the Co-op Elevator in Braham, MN.

In the spring of 1992, the family moved to Faribault, MN. spending a year there before moving back to Windom in 1993, when Michael became an employee of Cottonwood County. Susan settled the family at work and in school before she returned to work at the Windom Area Hospital. After a short time at the hospital, with her degree in English education, Susan started working in the accounting office of Johnson & Bottin.

The family became members of the Living Word Lutheran Church where Susan became active in planning the services, preparing the weekly bulletin, and with another couple and pianist led the worship services until the church closed.

The family joined the Mountain Lake Alliance Church where one of Susan’s lifelong dreams to visit Israel was fulfilled in December of 2013.

At the end of the 2019 tax season, Susan retired from Johnson, Tibodeau, Bottin & Co.

Susan and Michael have enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the acreage on which they reside, located between Windom and Mountain Lake in Lakeside Township, where they have made their home since the fall of 1997.

On June 12, 2019, son Caleb tragically passed away.

This story came to an unexpected end on the morning of June 5, 2022, when Susan was called to her heavenly home to meet her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, passing away due to an aortic aneurysm.

She will be greatly missed and survived by her husband of 50 plus years, Carl Michael Hanson; son, Christopher Michael Hanson of Northeast Minneapolis; sisters Joan Miller of Colorado and Nancy Maus of Florida; numerous nieces and nephews; daughter-in-law, Erica Hanson and grandkids, Dalton & Saije, and sister-in-law, Cheryl Hanson of Windom.

A Celebration of Life Service was held on Mon., June 13th, at the Mountain Lake Alliance Church in Mountain Lake. Burial followed at Lakeview Cemetery in Windom.

The Celebration of Life Service was live streamed on the Mountain Lake Alliance Church YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Arrangements are under the care of the LaCanne Family Celebration of Life Center in Windom. Condolences and memories of Susan may be sent online to www.lacannefuneralhome.com.